LONDON – Last Friday, Airways was present at Debrecen Airport (DEB) where an Ilyushin IL-62 landed, resuming cargo traffic at the airport. Rada Airlines’ (RDA) IL-62 landed at DEB, following a flight from Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC) carrying automotive parts.
Debrecen Airport is located just 5 kilometres from the center of Hungary’s second-largest city. In addition to Debrecen, it serves Oradea and Satu Mare in Romania and Nyíregyháza in Hungary. According to Free Map Tools, 4 million people live in a 120-kilometre radius of DEB.
After its opening in 1930, DEB handled mail and domestic traffic. Following World War II, Soviet forces used DEB as an airbase until the end of socialism in 1990. In the early 2000s, the city started improving at the airport. DEB saw mostly charter traffic in addition to short-lived scheduled services.
In 2012, Wizz Air (W6) started flying to London Luton (LTN) from DEB. The airline added two further flights before opening a base in 2015. Shortly after, the airline opened a training facility in cooperation with the University of Debrecen. In addition to W6, Lufthansa (LH) operated scheduled flights from Munich (MUC).
Debrecen Airport started planning the resumption of its cargo operation 20 years ago. To achieve this, DEB made key improvements. In 2014, the airport inaugurated a small branch line and cargo train station. It also constructed a logistics and innovation center in the following years.
In April 2020, the airport was ready to handle cargo flights. With the continuous industrial developments in the region, DEB is hopeful that it can become a key cargo hub. BMW Group will open a huge plant close to Debrecen as part of industrial developments. While the majority of BMW’S cargo will be handled on ground, DEB could still see extra passenger and cargo traffic.
Rada Airlines and Il-62
Rada Airlines is the last commercial operator of the IL-62, operating two aircraft. The airline acquired EW-505TR recently due to increased cargo demand. It also operates EW-450TR, which visited Italy last summer.
This frame rolled out of the factory in 1992 and Orient Avia (V6) took it two years later. After three years of passenger service and three years of storage, KAPO Avia (G7) acquired and converted the aircraft. After G7 went bankrupt, the frame flew for Manas Airways (BAM) for a year.
The type was parked in Turkmenistan since 2017 until RDA took delivery of the aircraft.
Featured image source: Miklós Budai / Airways. Instagram: @aviationmike.hu